Thursday, November 27, 2014

*ARC* Dark Triumph - Review

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2)

By: Robin LaFevers

Published: April 2, 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

405 pages

Source: Netgalley ARC from Publisher (THANKS!)

(Goodreads/Amazon)

Summary:
When Sybella arrived at the doorstep of St Mortain half mad with grief and despair the convent were only too happy to offer her refuge - but at a price. The sisters of this convent serve Death, and with Sybella naturally skilled in both the arts of death and seduction, she could become one of their most dangerous weapons.

But her assassin's skills are little comfort when the convent returns her to the life that nearly drove her mad. Her father's rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother's love is equally monstrous. But when Sybella discovers an unexpected ally she discovers that a daughter of Death may find something other than vengeance to live for...
 
MY REVIEW:
Oh. My. Goodness! This book was everything I look for in a favorite story! Action, Love, Tears, Heartbreak, Sacrifice. I was blown away by the greatness of Sybella's story.

We first meet Sybella at the convent in book one, Grave Mercy. She seems wild and uncontrollable at first impression, but we know very little of her. The other girls Ismae and Annith grow close to her, and are surprised and worried when she never returns from an assignment. For those who haven't read this series yet, I will refrain from saying any more regarding where she was and what she was doing.

Dark Triumph follows Sybella after the 3 years of her time at the convent. As an assassin, she is trained to kill those who bear the marque of Mortain and she has been placed in a position to exact revenge on those who have abused and harmed her her entire life, even those who have taken advantage of her in the name of love. But when the convent reaches out to her again with a new mission, she fears accomplishing it will put her position she has established in the household she lives in danger of being figured out and her chance at revenge will be lost.

Meanwhile Brittany is still at war with the French and Count D'Albret is still trying to force the duchess into an alliance through marriage, if even by force. We still see glimpses of Ismae and Duval from book one. A host of new characters come into the story. The only character that is still a vague mystery as to what is going on with her, is Annith. Though I know book three follows her story.

The love interest in this story was not your normal, handsome, knight in shining armor. In fact, he isn't even described as being attractive, which if I'm honest was a bit of a letdown and sometimes a distraction. For as beautiful as Sybella is, it seemed wrong to have her hero be someone that, as she describes him, "is still as big and ugly as an ogre". Hmm....so he's a huge dude, as in tall and muscular, not fat. But his face is only mildly attractive and that's only when he smiles. He definitely has a charm about him, and he's is incredibly loyal. So sue me for being shallow, I like my heroes to be good-looking in some way. He could've still had the scars to give him flawed character, but I would've connected more with their love story if he had not been described as an ogre.

If you are a fan of historical fantasy than you will surely enjoy this series! The heroins are strong, courageous women.

Favorite Quotes:
It is a raw and uncomfortable realization that Beast is partly behind this newfound will to live. Not for him, but because he reminded me of what life has to offer. He lives life so joyously - it is impossible not to want that joy for oneself.

But Beast leads not only be example but my making the men hungry to see themselves as Beast sees them.

"We will meet again on the other side of this, for what is between us is not finished by half."

Hate cannot be fought with hate. Evil cannot be conquered by darkness. Only love has the power to conquer them both.

Two things define him - his honor and his loyalty - and he is being asked to abandon one of them.

Truly, we are the gods' own children, forged in the fire of our tortured pasts, but also blessed with unimaginable gifts.

Final Rating - 4.5 stars!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Waiting on Daughter of Deep Silence


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Breaking the Spine.
Each week bloggers participate to share a book they can't wait to get their hands on.

This week I'm waiting on:

Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
Expected Publication: June 2, 2015 by Dutton Juvenile
Preorder Buy Link: Amazon
A delicious tale of revenge and identity from Carrie Ryan, the bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth

In the wake of the deadly devastation of luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace, rescued from the ocean after torturous days adrift with her dying friend Libby, knows that the Persephone wasn’t sunk by a rogue wave as survivors Senator Wells and his son are claiming—it was attacked.

To ensure her safety from the obviously dangerous and very powerful Wells family, Libby’s father helps newly orphaned Frances assume Libby’s identity. Frances has spent years in hiding, transforming herself into Libby, and she can no longer allow the people who murdered her entire family and Libby to get away with it. After years of careful plotting, she’s ready to set her revenge plans into motion—even if it means taking down the boy she’d once been in love with: the senator’s son.

The game has just begun, and Frances is not only playing dirty, she's playing to win.
DUDE!!! I've been waiting on another YA series from Carrie Ryan for oh....almost 4 years now. I know she's written some novellas in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series, but I'm not big on novellas...and I was eager for her to write another series. Hoping this one lives up to my expectations.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Teaser Tuesday #77: The Future Without Hope


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly post hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along. Just go HERE to learn how to participate.

This week my teasers come from 
The Future Without Hope (The World Without End #3) by Nazarea Andrews:
Teasers: "We always knew it would happen eventually. Can't live through the end of the world forever."

What are you reading this week?
Share a teaser with me!

2014 Series Ender Reading Challenge - November Wrap Up



It's time for our next to last Monthly Wrap Up for the 2014 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

It blows my mind that we're wrapping up November! Since posting the October Wrap Up, Sandy didn't finish any series enders, but Holly finished Pull (Push, # 2) by Claire Wallis.



Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the November giveaway runs from November 25th - December 25th. On December 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.





Monday, November 24, 2014

Grave Mercy - Review

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)

By: Robin LaFevers

Published: April 3, 2012 by HMH Books for Young Readers

576 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

(Goodreads /Amazon)

Summary:
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?
MY REVIEW:
I'm probably one of the few remaining bloggers who has yet to finish this series. I'm not entirely sure why it took me so long to check it out because I've heard a lot of praise about it. Add to that the trusted opinion of my SNL, who finished this series recently, and after her 4.5/5 star rating of each book in the series, I finally decided to purchase it for myself.

This story is rich in detail and given that it takes place somewhere around the Middle Ages, beginning of the Renaissance period, there is much to describe. From the clothing to the weapons to the castle, LaFevers does a perfect job of painting the picture for the reader of this elaborate story.

The first 10% of the story was slow and blah for me. I understand it was necessary back-story information for the reader to learn how Ismae came to be in the convent. I was just more interested in what she did AFTER she became an assassin than her life prior to learning the art of killing. Call me morbid.

The story really picks up with intensity and intrigue once Duval comes on the scene. From that point on I was hooked and blew through to the end.

The story goes that Ismae was fathered by Death himself and bears a scar on her back from her mother trying to expell her from her womb with a potion. At 17 years old her "father" sells her for 3 coins to a brute, who upon seeing her scar wants to have her put to death. She narrowly escapes with the help of an herbwitch and finds herself at a convent run by sisters who all have sworn service to the god of Death, St. Mortain and service to their realm of Brittany and its duchess.

It's here at this convent that Ismae learns how to be an assassin. She learns the art of weaponry, potion making and seduction. She will face three trials, three kills, before she can say her final vows. Upon her second trial she meets Duval, someone who the sisters are suspicious of. The sisters send her as a spy of sorts back to court with Duval, acting as his mistress. It's here at court where she learns about the depth of betrayal that is going on as Brittany is facing war with France.

There was a couple irritations that I had. Nothing major, but were things I noted while reading. It seemed to take Ismae a really long time - longer than it took me, to piece together who the ultimate betrayer was. It was bothersome that she never questioned the motives of this person until relatively late in the story. It also bugged me that Ismae wrote letters to a sister at the convent, Annith, three times at least, asking questions each time, and only hearing back from her once. I'm curious to see if the next book addresses what is going on with Annith and why she seems MIA.

Overall, this was a really great story and I look forward to reading more! Good thing I already have book two, Dark Triumph, in my possession!

Favorite Quotes:
"However will you play the game of seduction if you flinch so?" His voice is soft velvet along my skin. "You will be hard-pressed to gain my secrets if you cannot bear my touch."

This is what I want to be. An instrument of mercy, not vengeance.

Final Rating - 4 stars

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Post #103

Sunday Post is a weekly post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
Each week bloggers participate to share any books received and news from their week.

Click on the book covers to be taken to its Goodreads page. The Buy Link, if available, is below each book cover.

Where last week I didn't get any new books, this week I may have went a bit one-click crazy on some books I should've waited on. But where's the fun in that?! I got sucked into the purchase of two extremely short stories after seeing some other bloggers talk about them. Unfortunately after reading them they turned out to be mediocre at best. Then I added 2 books to my collection of series but haven't yet read them.

~PURCHASED OR FREEBIES~
Hansel, Part 1 by Ella James
Buy Link: Amazon (FREEBIE!)

Hansel, Part 2 by Ella James
Buy Link: Amazon

The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood #12) by J.R. Ward
Buy Link: Amazon ($5.99 sale!)

The Future Without Hope (The World Without End #3) by Nazarea Andrews
Buy Link: Amazon ($2.99)

RECAP OF WEEK:
SUNDAY:

MONDAY:
Review - State of Pursuit (Collapse Series #4) by Summer Lane (4 stars)

TUESDAY:

SATURDAY:

WHAT'S AHEAD:
Tentative Posts:
Teaser Tuesday
Waiting on Wednesday
Feature & Follow
Planned Posts:
Review - Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
ARC Thursday Review - Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

On Friday I took my kids (ages 12.5 and 11) to see Mockingjay, Part 1. We LOVED it! Excellent movie - not that I expected anything less since movies one and two were fantastic as well. The only slightly annoying things I noticed were incredibly small and inconsequential had nothing to do with the plot (it's been too long since I read the books to have noticed differences but from what I remember there weren't any major ones). We would love to go see it a second time though I'm not sure that's feasible - especially with Exodus and The Hobbit #3 coming out in just a couple of weeks. If ya'll are fans of the Hunger Games books and/or movies, definitely go check it out!

GLORIOUS!!! THIS IS A WEEK OFF! I always think these breaks come at just the right time when I desperately need a week off from driving kids to schools and babysitting and just having to be on a schedule. This week in the US we celebrate Thanksgiving. Ya'll know what holidays mean - food, family and friends. This will be the first year in 17 years that I won't celebrate with all of my extended family - aunts/uncles/cousins, etc... I'm a bit sad about that. 

We also, college football fans in the south, will have the Iron Bowl this coming weekend. 

Overall, this is one of my favorite weeks out of the year. 

Don't forget to sign up to participate in the 2015 Series Ender Reading Challenge! There'll be a giveaway EVERY MONTH! 
 
Enjoy your week!
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

From Books to Movies, Take 6


I haven't done a From Books to Movies post in awhile. There are a number of book to movie adaptations that I'm stoked to see, but for this post I'm going to limit it to a few of my current top favorites, and some I have my eye on, as many of which aren't even in the filming process yet. 

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

Book Description: After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.

Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Movie Description: 16-year-old Cassie Sullivan tries to survive in a world devastated by the waves of an alien invasion that has already decimated the population and knocked mankind back to the Stone Age.


Casting: ChloĆ« Grace Moretz as Cassie Sullivan, Nick Robinson as Ben Parrish, Alex Roe as Evan Walker, Maggie Siff as Lisa Sullivan, Liev Schreiber as Colonel Vosch, 
Directed By: J. Blakeson
Screenwriter: Susannah Grant
Expected Release: January, 2016 (MAN - that's a long time to wait!!!)

The Duff by Kody Keplinger

Book Description: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face. 

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.
Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
Movie Description: A high school senior instigates a social pecking order revolution after finding out that she has been labeled the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier more popular friends.

Casting: Bella Thorne as Madison, Mae Whitman as Bianca, Robbie Amell as Wesley
Directed By: Ari Sandel
Screenwriter: Josh Cagan
Expected Release: April 2015

Books-to-Movies I've got my Eye On:
These following titles are so new to being made into a movie that there isn't enough information yet to share or there isn't an official movie poster/trailer/etc... and I want to do them justice when I do feature them in my post. We'll call these teasers, as I will feature them again when more info is available.

While It Lasts (Sea Breeze #3) by Abbi Glines

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
No, that's not just some sexy man holding a copy of Ugly Love. But let's face it, I DID use this picture because he IS THAT sexy. This is actor/model Nick Bateman, who is rumored to be the lead in the film adaptation of Ugly Love, which was just optioned for a film. 

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith
That is one of the longest titles EVER. I didn't even have this on my TBR list, and to be honest I'm not sure I WANT to read it. However, the movie idea strikes me as funny, so I'll probably check it out. Check out this official screen shot:

What book-to-movie are you most excited to see? Share it with me! I may need to add it to my watch list!
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